Mp3 players used to be a must-have- item much before the smartphones were even launched. But, with smartphones taking over, their sales dripped and mp3 players felt like an obsolete item. In today’s world, where almost everyone prefers to listen to music on their smartphones, does it make any sense to carry an additional device just to play music? Digital audio players might cater to a niche audience, but they still are extremely popular specially amongst the dedicated music players.
Nowadays, maximum people listen to music via smartphones; and with time the quality of the audio experience has only deteriorated. Amongst poor bandwidth quality of streaming music, mp3 players are no less than a blessing specially for an audiophile. Moreover, phones are not capable of playing back most formats.
Before making a purchase, two things that need to be considered are:
▪ How much do I want to spend?
▪ How much storage space do I need?
Once you are clear in your head about these two questions, you can move on to consider some other type of features like wifi, bluetooth, camera, apps, etc. If you are thinking of buying an MP3 player, research well-in-advance about the various options available within your budget. However, to ease it out for you, we have compiled a list of some of the best MP3 players with Bluetooth capability. Take a look:
SONY Walkman NW-A35
The Japanese tech giant, Sony, is not bound to any introduction. The Sony NW-A35 Walkman is latest addition to Sony’s high-resolution audio players. Featuring a sleek and streamlined design, the whole look is eye-catching. The compact 3.1-inch color screen combined with the Sony logo on the top of the display and a Walkman logo at the back and bottom completes the look. This high-resolution audio player features an internal storage capacity of 16GB. Apart from this, for storage expansion this player also supports microSD cards
Weighing only about 98 grams, this one is extremely lightweight. For transferring music, you need to download the ‘Media Go’ for Windows, and for Mac, it’s Content Transfer. The battery lasts about 30 hours with Hi-Res and 45 hours with MP3. The battery takes about 3-4 hours to fully charge itself.
All the adjustment buttons are located on the right side. There is a power button on the top, volume adjustment buttons, and three separate buttons to play / pause and to forward or back the tracks. To help you get the right volume, it allows you to adjust the volume 120 steps as compared to the usual 25-30 steps.
The best part is the inclusion of “hold” button which locks the buttons, when the player is not in use. At the bottom, there is a 3.5mm jack for headphone connectivity. A good player is of no use without a good pair of headphones. It can play high resolution files in its true fidelity. The built-in Digital Sound Enhancement Engine, scale up the resolution of an audio file by up to three times the fidelity. You name a file format and NW-A35 supports it. AAC (Non-DRM), AIFF, ALAC, DSD, FLAC, HE-AAC, Linear PCM, MP3, WMA (Non-DRM) are all the file formats supported by this player.
The physical playback controls are convenient to operate. It is equipped with NFC and Bluetooth for easily connecting wireless speakers or earphones. Some of the notable features include: Clear Phase function optimizes sound characteristics for the type of headphones you are using with the player. Another one is the ClearAudio+ feature, that widens the sound and improves sound clarity. The The lack of AptX support is a bit disappointing. It does not support Android operating system, so you won’t be able to access your music on Apple Music and Saavn apps.
The best part about this player that it doesn’t feature any unnecessary gimmicks. With an easy-to-use interface, it totally impresses with its sound quality. Buy this if you want to listen good-quality music.
Transcend MP350 TS8GMP350B MP3 Player
Loaded with impressive number of features, this lightweight digital music player features a stylish design. This device lets you enjoy the hands-free music. The attached sport clip can be connected to pockets, backpacks, jackets, or tracksuits, meaning you can enjoy music on any occasion. With its small 1″ digital display, it weighs only about 22g. The rubbery buttons are conveniently positioned and are easy-to-use. It comes in stylish black/blue edition.
The shock and water resistant outer shell makes this player a perfect companion in all weather conditions. It is water resistant to IPX2 standards, which makes it compatible to withstand extreme weather conditions; be it snow, sweat, rain or any other inclement weather. This device supports MP3, WMA, WAV files.
The built-in fitness tracker makes this mp3 player extremely versatile. With this feature, you can keep a close watch on the amount of calories you are burning. You can preset total exercise time and it let’s you know calories burnt accordingly. It comes with 8 GB of internal storage capacity. It offers a battery life of 16 hour with playback music and 20 hour with recording.
The feature of smart recording is simply an eye-catcher. MP350 features a voice recorder and a built-in FM radio that can be recorded at the click of a button whenever you hear something you like. It is an excellent tool for both students and professionals, alike. Students can get careful review of class lectures, foreign language lessons and professionals of business meetings.
This device comes with two-year limited warranty. The earphones provided with the device are not of that good quality, which can be a turn off for some.
Overall, with a good sound quality and impressive new features, this is one of the best mp3 players especially for youngsters. Reasonably priced, this one is a perfect workout companion.
Apple iPod Touch (6th generation) MP3 Player
Apple iPod Touch (6th generation) it is a great portable media player. The iPod touch has four capacity levels: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. It is the first to have a 128GB version, therefore it can store a lot of music and video files. This model boasts a fast, powerful A8 chip, M8 motion coprocessor and a souped-up iSight camera. Motion M8 motion processor helps with fitness tracking. The rear camera is now eight megapixels, and also introduces the iPhone’s new 120fps slow-mo recording mode to join time lapse, burst and panorama features. The Metal API allows developers to design highly immersive console-style games.
As far as look, positioning of buttons or camera is concerned, the new iPod touch is is exactly the same as the old one. It features the four-inch retina touchscreen that is covered in a fingerprint-resistant coating to protect t from any kind of manhandling. The anodized aluminium unibody design is sleek and soft. Located at the bottom is the Home button and top-left corner includes the camera lens for the improved selfie experience. on the left edge, there are volume adjustment kets. The bottom edge includes a 3.5mm headphone minijack, a lightning connector and the built-in speaker. Featuring 1 GB RAM, it comes with iOS 9 operating system.
It weighs just 88g and comes in blue, gold, gray, pink, red, or silver. It lacks the iPod touch loop found on the old 5th generation iPod touch, which might be considered as an improvement.It features 40 hours of music playback and eight hours of video off a full charge, which is quite amazing. Bluetooth 4.1 lets you pair your iPod touch to Bluetooth-enabled devices.
As far as functionality and performance are concerned, this one is no way less than an Apple’s iPhone, all it lacks is the ability to make calls and track your location via GPS. Compared to the phone, it features more power and a boosted battery life. Similar to the phone, you can browse the web, email, download apps, play games, listen to music, click photos, etc. However, there’s no support for high-res audio.
Three times faster than previous versions, this is one of the best portable players that is worth the money. Apple’s music streaming service is amazing and could be one of the main reasons to prefer this over iPhone. It is basically a music player, video camera, pocket computer, and portable gaming device, all in a single device.
Pioneer XDP-300R MP3 Player
Pioneer is a household name, which enjoys an excellent stereo heritage. This portable media player features a high-resolution 4.7″ touch screen that makes navigation easier. With its black metal body, it weighs in at a hefty 200 grams.
It runs the Android operating system, which gives you access to the Google Play Store and multiple useful apps. With 32 GB internal memory, it can be expanded to as much as 432 GB with two micro-SD slots. This is quite amazing, as it allows you to store ample amount of high-resolution music files. You can directly download the high-resolution audio files from OnkyoMusic.com
However, to store higher resolution digitally stored music, a greater amount of data is also required. To counter this problem, this player comes with master quality authenticated (MQA) lossless format. It does not hamper the sound quality, but keeps file sizes down via this MQA compression method. Another benefit is that it is also backward compatible with the FLAC format, thus can be played on any FLAC-compatible device. With a 3.5mm headphone output and a 2.5mm balanced output, connectivity is not an issue.
The positioning of the inputs and controls is convenient and intuitive. There are track skip buttons, a play/pause button, and a power button; all of which can be pressed easily. It features bluetooth with aptX audio coding for high-fidelity streaming with compatible devices. It plays MP3, MQA, FLAC, WAV, ALAC, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, and AIFF formats. It also plays Direct Stream Digital (DSD) files. All the DSD files are converted to PCM for playback. It is equipped with dual ESS Sabre® ES9018K2M 32-bit/192kHz DACs that allows for bit-perfect playback of high-resolution audio files. Combined with, dual ESS Sabre® 9601K headphone amplifiers that provides crystal clear, powerful sound.
The built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 16 hours of playback. Features a high-speed USB interface that allows for drag-and-drop file transfer and battery charging. With a WiFi connection, the XDP-300 R can play your favourite music directly from a local DLNA server or from a streaming app. As far as images are concerned, it supports JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, and WebP formats.
Given the price range, this high-resolution portable audio player is one of best players available in the market. Totally, worth the consideration.
Astell & Kern AK70
This fantastic Hi-Res Audio player has been quite popular since its launch. The cool shade of “misty mint’ is bound to impress. As far as design is concerned, this one is much more compact and weighs only about 150 grams. The anodised duralumin body lends that stylish touch to the device.
On the dial you can see a slight curve that has been designed for the ease of the user, It lets your thumb roll over it from the front rather than from the side.
Featuring a 3.3-inch AMOLED screen, it comes with an easy-to-use interface. All the buttons are intelligently placed and are easy to reach. On the side, there are oversized volume controls and large buttons that makes navigation easier. It gives detailed information of the track being played consistently. On right side of the device, there is a knurled volume knob that is easily accessible. Down the left side are three small, round buttons for skip forward, skip back and play/pause. At the bottom, you’ll find Micro USB socket for charging and data transfer.
This Android-powered media player comes with 64GB of music storage. Although, it do comes with a built-in microSD card slot, which lets you increase storage by up to 200GB. To ensure the best sound quality, it doubles up as a digital-to-analogue converter (DAC). Wi-fi connectivity and compatibility with Astell & Kern’s DLNA-based AK Connect App is simply amazing. Anyone familiar with Android can simply swipe down to settings and easily use this device.
The AK70 has two headphone outputs, a single-ended 3.5mm stereo connection and a 2.5mm balanced jack. Battery playback is estimated between 6-8 hours per charge. For the added convenience of the user, there is a discreet dot at the bottom quarter of the screen – just press this and you’ll be headed straight back to the home screen. The user need not waste his time pressing back buttons to escape folders.
One of the notable features is aptX HD support so you can stream high-res audio files over Bluetooth; which is quite amazing. It uses Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC that can play back almost any musical file format. This chip can handle all standard high-res music formats up to 24-bit/192kHz. It will compress all 32-bit music files to either 24-bit/192kHz or 24-bit/176kHz using a sample-rate converter. It also acts out as USB digital out. The AK70 is compatible with Astell & Kern’s AK CD-Ripper, which rips CDs and saves the files to the AK70. The sound quality is truly amazing and is bound to impress you.
It is a pricey accessory, but if you are one of those hardcore music lovers and audiophiles who loves to listen high-quality music, this one is perfect for you.
Astell & Kern AK Jr High Resolution Audio Player
Astell & Kern are known for their high-end audio products. Their products feature excellent designs and have amazing sound quality.
Astell & Kern AK Jr features a slim and sleek design made of aluminium and weighs just 93g. The 3.1 inch touchscreen interface is quite responsive and features a version of Android. The main screen is easy to understand as it is self-explanatory.
Overall, it is minimally crafted with a beautiful design. Around the back, it looks amazing with a thin layer of glass giving that refined finish. However, with the slightly sharp metal corners it does have some handling issues. Therefore, browsing for long periods can be a bit uncomfortable. The rotary volume dial, tucked away on the right-hand side of the body truly stands out. Smooth in functioning, you can easily up/down the volume with this one.
All the buttons are conveniently placed, making them easy to reach. The left side features the play/pause and volume buttons. On the top, there is 3.5mm headphone jack and the standby button. The Micro USB charging port is located at the bottom.
With a 1450 mAh battery, this pocketable hi-res player offers nine-hour battery life. It offers 64 GB of internal memory, which can be extended to 128GB with a microSD card slot. So, there’s plenty of space to store large files. It supports multiple formats, including FLAC, WAV, AAC and DSD.
It features single Wolfson WM8740 DAC that can even be used to improve your headphone experience, as the device can also double as a USB DAC.AK Jr turns off automatically when not in use, to save the power. There’s no Wi-Fi connectivity, thus you can’t download Android apps. It features Bluetooth 4.0, which is good enough to provide you wireless experience. Overall, the sound quality is fantastic.
Compared to the rest of the A&K range, this High Resolution audio player is most affordable portable music player, that looks great and sounds fantastic.
AGPtEK B03 is the updated and improved model of AGPTEK A02. This lightweight device weighs about 25g. The streamlined design with a plastic body and curved edges, feels fantastic feel in the hand. The material is sturdy; not at all slippery. It comes with headphones and a USB cable. With 8GB of memory included, it comes complete with the instruction manual.
It features 1.8″ of colourful display screen. All the control buttons are well-placed and are easy to access. The Mеnu key and bасk kеу, makes the functioning easier. It features 7 independent buttons, that makes navigation faster. Menu, Back, Play/Pause, Next/Forward, Previous/ Rewind, Volume Up and Down, all these buttons are located on the front of the player. On the right side there is a slider ON/OFF button and left side features SD card slot, which can support up to 64GB. However, the file directory limit is only 4000 files. At the bottom there is a standard 3.5mm headphone port, a micro USB port for charging and transferring data.
Languages supported include: English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, etc.It ensures lossless sound quality and support fоrmаtѕ like MP3,WMA,OGG,WAV,APE and FLAC. It works perfectly with your car’s stereo system and the sound quality is amazing.
It comes with a built-in rechargeable lіthіum- іоn bаttеrу and when fullу charged, offers upto 30 hours of audio рlауbасk. The battery takes about 3-4 hours to fully charge itself. As far as other functions are concerned, it performs well as radio, E-book, sound, voice recorder, and video. The E-book feature is worth the mention. This Bookmark feature is perfect for audio books, as it can save up to 10 marks for each audio file, i.e. you can put 10 bookmarks in any one track. However, the audio file works only in the supported formats. The user can sync to playlists easily by MediaGo, that is available for free.
Well-build, this little mp3 player sounds fantastic. Good value for the money, it is worth the buy.
Sony Walkman NW-ZX300 has set a new benchmark in the portable listening device industry. Everything about this little player has been cleverly designed to ensure the best sound quality. It is build with a rigid aluminium milled frame that is designed to provide strong resistance to electrical noise, thereby ensuring a clearer, more stable sound. The touch-sensitive matte glass screen allows smooth fingertip control. Choosing aluminium is a smart move, as it decreases the resistance value inside the device. Further, to reduce the signal loss during transmission, the optical fiber cables have been chosen for the internal amplifier wiring.
The 3.1 inches matte glass touch screen is highly responsive . The screen display is high resolution and bright. It supports hi-res audio in 384 kHz/32 bit PCM format as well as. It comes with a balanced headphone output and 64GB of internal memory- that can be extended with a Micro SD memory card slot. The device can even function as a DAC if used as part of a desktop system.
It features the the increasingly popular MQA format for streaming audio. MQA format compresses large studio quality files without audible loss so you can easily enjoy High-Resolution Audio. A 4.4mm balanced connector supplier’s compatible headphones with fully-discrete left and right channels, results in less noise and a crystal clear sound.The large capacity FT Cap provides clean, reliable voltage for well-defined and immensely powerful bass notes.
LDAC, their premium wireless codec along with aptX HD Bluetooth compatibility provides superior listening experience. It is equipped with the S-Master HX™ digital amp and high quality film capacitors that reduces any noise distortion across a wide range of frequencies. A high quality solder is applied to the circuit board and S-Master HX full digital amplifier for more clearer sound. DSEE HX™ upscales your existing music to near high-resolution quality.
The user-interface is is natural and easy to use. The maximum of the interaction is via the touchscreen. All the buttons like play/pause, music selection and volume buttons can be conveniently controlled from the side panel. It’s surprisingly lightweight and small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. It weighs around 157g. It gives up to 30 hours of 128 kbps MP3 playback, or up to 26 hours of 96 KHz FLAC high-resolution audio playback. The battery takes approximately 5.5 hours to fully charge itself.
Compiled with the best components, this mp3 player delivers a premium audio experience. Such quality comes at a price. So, the lofty price tag is completely justified.
This digital audio player is made of aluminium while the screen and the operating buttons are surrounded by plastic and the back of the device is lined with faux leather. The design is bit odd but overall, Cayin N3 is well-built. There are two color options available: blue and matte-black, while cover cases are available in various colours.
The 2.4-inch non-touch screen occupies most of the front panel and the physical buttons are located on the front and sides. The sides have the power, volume, next, previous and play/pause buttons. Four capacitive buttons below the screen act as navigation controls. The left-hand side of the player has a power button and below it is the volume rocker. The right side feature all the playback controls. The single open microSD card slot is also located on the right.
This device is compact and is easily pocketable. It weighs under 100 gram. It features 3.5mm socket to plug in headphones. It feature the type-C port that can be used for data transfers, charging the device. Both of them are located on the bottom edge. It comes with battery life of around 12 hours on a full charge. Charging with a 5V/2A adapter takes around 2 hours. It features Bluetooth connectivity to enjoy that wireless experience. Cayin N3 does not have any in-built storage; an open microSD card slot on the right side of the device supports up to 256GB cards
It can also serve as a DAC when connected to a PC. It supports various audio formats, including MP3, FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, DSD and more. The presence of Bluetooth AptX support is amazing addition, making the whole experience wireless. The package includes a silicon case, spare screen protector, and USB cable for charging.
For its price, it is one of the best players in the market. For all those who wants a superior sonic experience, without burning their pockets, this one is a perfect fit.
HIDIZS AP60 Ⅱ Hi-Res Certified Lossless Music Player
Founded in 2009, Hidizs is a Chinese company that makes portable audio players. The design and quality of their products is simply flawless.
This second generation entry-level media player is a replacement of the original AP60. It comes in an aluminium alloy body. The screen has been upgraded from TFT HD to IPS HD. It is extremely pocketable and lightweight. A sleek and robust design with no sharp edges, makes this device super-stylish to look at. It comes in a wide range of colours that includes: black, blue, gold, gray, pink, and silver.
It features a 2 inch IPS high-definition screen, with higher visual angle, better contrast. The screen is small yet quite powerful. All the important information related to the track is visible on the screen.
Hidizs have not listed the weight of the AP60 II in their spec sheet. AP60 II is now 75mm x 42mm x 14mm, so this one should be around 65g. The left panel features the power and volume buttons. The gold-plated 3.5mm stereo jack port and the micro-USB port, both are placed on the bottom panel.
The AP60 II does not feature any onboard memory and comes with a single microSD slot housed on the lower right panel. It supports up to 256GB, large enough to hold your entire music library. The device comes with a screen protector semi applied to the front and back. All you have to do is peel off the top layer and it is fully protected.
It features a 1000mAh LiCoO2 Battery that gives upto 10-12 hours of playback time. The battery takes about one hour to fully charge itself. It comes with Japan Seiko protection circuits and charges through micro USB port. It can be connected with your PC and headphone as a headphone amplifier.
It comes with Bluetooth 4.0 with APT-X protocol. The double-way lossless Bluetooth transmission allows easy enjoyment of music with low coding delay and high sound quality. This player adopt professional quality AK4452VN DAC and MAX97220 AMP combination, to provide the best sound quality. This high resolution digital audio player supports all major hifi music formats: APE, DSD, FLAC, WAV, WMA, and ALAC, at up to 192kHz/24bit.
It supports Bluetooth 4.0 and APT-X lossless transmission. It supports two-way USB DAC function for more versatility, i.e. act as a DAC when connected to a computer or smartphone, or purely as a digital transport when connected to an external DAC.
Which mp3 player to buy? This is one question that almost every music lover enquires about! With ample amount of options by some of the best brands, confusion tends to arise. So research well-in- advance about the various features and functionalities before you make a purchase.
Do rememberer quality comes at a price. Buying an mp3 player is no less than an investment. So, spend wisely and don’t hesitate to shed out a bit more for a quality player.
The below-mentioned table filters out some of the best features for you to make a better choice:
|Basis||Screen Size||Internal Memory||Weight||Battery life|
|SONY Walkman NW-A35||3.1-inch||16 GB||98 grams||30-45 hr|
|Transcend MP350||1 inch||8 GB||22 grams||16-20 hr|
|Apple iPod Touch (6th generation)||4 inch||16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB||88 grams||40 hours|
|Pioneer XDP-300R||4.7 inch||32 GB||200 grams||16 hours|
|Astell & Kern AK70||3.3-inch||64GB||150 grams||6-8 hours|
|Astell & Kern AK Jr||3.1 inch||64 GB||93 grams||9 hr|
|AGPtEK B03||1.8 inch||8 GB||25 grams||30 hours|
|Sony Walkman NW-ZX300||3.1 Inches||64GB||157 grams||26-30 hr|
|Cayin N3||2.4-inch||no in-built storage||under 100 gram||12 hr|
|HIDIZS AP60 Ⅱ||2 inch||no in-built storage||65 grams||10-12 hr|